Towards a step-change in public engagement with environmental research
Through Opening up science for all!, we want to move beyond passive forms of engagement – ‘talking at’ people – towards individuals and communities developing active and on-going involvement in environmental research at all stages of the process. We invited participants to join us on Monday, 25th June 2018 The Studio in Birmingham to collaboratively work on specific tasks to build on and challenge existing plans for a national community around participatory public engagement, citizen science and environmental research. Building on the responses to an online survey, three initial workshops, and evaluation from the wider Opening up science for all! Project, our work on the 25th June explored the themes of: disruption and risk-taking; communication and networking; collaboration and sharing; innovation and horizon-scanning; and championing and advocacy. Our event revealed the breadth of (link to be added shortly) existing activities in the space of public engagement with environmental research, the emerging activities already a foot across the country, and the activities still to be imagined (a wish list!). As the wonderful image above reveals, lots is happening, people are keen to work together and support each other. Sharing is paramount. A key message was the need for a step-change in how things are done, hence the repeated mention of disruption and risk-taking. We held two discussion groups to explore this further.